White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Tuesday refused to guarantee that taxpayer dollars won’t go to fund abortions in the new $1.9 trillion stimulus bill that President Joe Biden is attempting to get passed.
The American Rescue Plan is expected to come to a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives next week. If passed, it will then go to the U.S. Senate for consideration.
Psaki took a question from Owen Jensen, a reporter for the Catholic television network EWTN. Jensen asked the press secretary if she could guarantee that “if the American Rescue Plan is passed that no taxpayer dollars will go to the abortion industry?”
“Which component of the American rescue plan are you referring to?” Psaki replied.
“A $50 million funding increase for the Title X program,” Jensen responded. “$750 million for global health activities and billions in funding for community health centers without applying the Hyde Amendment.”
“Well, the president’s view on the Hyde Amendment is well known as you have stated in your question,” Psaki replied. “He also believes that community health centers are a key part of addressing the pandemic of ensuring that people and communities have access to vaccines, have access to treatment and information about making sure they’re healthy and their loved ones are healthy. So that remains a priority to the president. He’s shared his view on the Hyde Amendment. I don’t think I have anything for you,” Psaki stated.
Following up on her reply, Jensen pressed further and repeated his question.
“Can you guarantee Americans who don’t want their tax dollars, pro-life Americans who don’t want their tax dollars funding abortion, can the administration guarantee those taxpayer dollars won’t go to the abortion industry?” he asked.
“Well, I think, Owen, as I’ve just noted, three quarters of the public supports the components of the package, wants to see the pandemic get under control, wants to see people put back to work, vaccines in arms. So, I think that answers your question. Okay, we’re gonna move on,” Psaki answered.
The pro-life activist group Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) stated in a press release on January 10 that House pro-abortion members are using the relief bill “to push a tax-funded bailout of the abortion industry.”
In his question to Psaki, Jensen used the same anecdotes that the SBA List noted.
SBA List said in its release that the American Rescue Plan does four things:
- Provides $750 million for global health activities and billions in funding for community health centers without applying the Hyde Amendment.
- Includes a $50 million funding increase for the Title X program… Title X would once again become a slush fund for abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood.
- Grants Planned Parenthood access to small business funding.
- Expansions of taxpayer-funded abortion coverage via Obamacare and a new initiative that would fund abortion-covering COBRA insurance.
In the release, SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said the stimulus bill amounts to, “a massive expansion of abortion on demand, paid for with tax dollars, in the guise of COVID-19 relief – including payouts to abortion giant Planned Parenthood.”
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Photo from JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS